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The Cabinet Center / Blog  / What is a Countertop Seam?

What is a Countertop Seam?

Most people expect seams in their shirts and pants, which is fine – but what happens when there is a seam in your counters? Unlike clothing, countertop seams are very permanent, and if placed badly will look obvious and ruin the continuity of your counter. In many cases seams are inevitable, and if they’re done well there’s no harm in that fact and it comes with the territory of certain countertop materials. If you’re concerned about seams with your countertop, here is a little more information about what they are, how they happen, and why reputable contractors are just as motivated as you are to minimize them.

What are seams?
Seams are where two sections of a countertop meet. When you utilize a natural stone as your countertop material, the effects can be gorgeous, but there are limitations. Granite or marble, for example, can only be recovered in pieces up to a certain size – it’s not unusual for countertops to be larger than that size, which means two similar pieces will need to be joined together to achieve the proper dimensions.

What causes seams?
The most obvious cause is when the desired countertop exceeds the length of stone slab that can be acquired due to their natural formations. That being said, there are other reasons seams could become necessary for particular project. For example, the accessibility of the installation site is a similar concern. If there isn’t a large enough door to transport the slab, or if there isn’t enough space to maneuver it into position, then the slab will need to be cut into more manageable sizes and put back together upon installation. Similarly, in some cases the stone slab is simply too heavy or too large to be practically maneuvered by the contractors, in which case it may need to be cut for ease of transportation and installation.

How can obvious seams be avoided?
The number of seams present on a countertop should always be minimized, even if they can’t be avoided completely. A quality contractor and designer will always work to ensure the number is reduced to the fullest extent possible, as well as ensure they’re as invisible to the eye as possible. A customer with a shoddy installation job isn’t going to be a happy customer, and most contracting jobs are based on reputation, which means your contractor should be every bit as motivated as you are to provide excellent work!

If you’re concerned about seams in your counters, we would be happy to answer any questions as they are a natural part of the installation process that shouldn’t have any negative effect on the final product.

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